My twins are 5 now. Five! When I’m out with the kids, I’m more likely to be asked whether they and their older sister are triplets, than I am to be asked whether the boys are twins. The spectacle of twinfants in a double stroller is behind us, replaced by the more alarming spectacle of my energetic, exuberant children in public.
After reading Goddess in Progress’s fantastic post, Absolving the Guilt, I decided to focus my HDYDI posts on the various nagging worries, frighteningly strong emotions, and unpleasant aspects of having very young multiples. And, more specifically, how those worries and scary thoughts (“Can’t I give them back??”) and unpleasant things (for example, urgently needing to use the toilet in a public place, with your toddler collection in tow) have resolved themselves.
I want to do this for several reasons. First, I love to complain. Unfortunately, my kids are getting so much easier now that I don’t have much current complaint fodder, so I have to go vintage. Second, I worried that I was a terrible mother for some of the thoughts and feelings I had during my early mothering career. I worried that no one else felt the same way. I hope I can make other parents feel less awful for composing a lullabye that includes “shut up, just shut up” as part of the lyrics. Third, I’ve spent about 5 years now assuring other parents of twins that it gets easier. Now I’ll try to pin down how and when.
Someone on my regular blog just commented about the ages of 4-11 being “the sweet spot,” where things are pretty easy. I did a little math and found that the average of my kids’ ages is 4.5, and I am definitely feeling the sweet spot thing. It just hit in the last few months.
Example: Going outside to play. There was a time when taking my kids out to play was like the riddle where you have to get a wolf, a cow, and some hay across a pond without anything getting eaten. I couldn’t carry both twins at once, and I couldn’t leave one twin outside eating God-knows-what off the ground while I went to get the other one. More recently, going outside meant I had to physically dress four little people plus myself, and usually my oldest would have peed her pants by the time we got outdoors.
Now, life is sweet. My oldest dresses herself (and doesn’t pee herself! Whee!!!), and the twins will dress themselves if I talk them through it to keep things moving. They can put on their own shoes and coats. And, they can play outside without me!!!! Even the “baby,” who is nearly 3 so I should stop calling her the baby.
Can you imagine the glory of preparing dinner in solitude while your children chase each other with sticks in your backyard? Ladies and gents, this dream is coming your way.
Jen is the married work-from-home mother of 7-year-old Miss A, 5-year-old identical boys G and P, and 2-year-old Haney Jane. She blogs at Diagnosis: Urine.